College Football News and Notes Week 9

College Football News and Notes Week 9

Ohio State remains No. 1; USF tumbles
October 21st, 2007

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Ohio State remained the top-ranked team in the latest Associated Press college football poll, but the second-ranked team from the previous week again took a tumble.

South Florida dropped a 30-27 decision at Rutgers this past Thursday and became the third straight No. 2 team to lose. The setback dropped the Bulls nine spots to 11th in this week's poll.

Southern California and California were the previous two teams ranked at No. 2 to lose.

Ohio State (8-0), which held off a late Michigan State charge to earn a 24-17 victory this past Saturday, received 57 first-place votes and a total of 1,612 points from a nationwide media panel to keep the top spot for a second straight week.

Boston College (7-0), idle this past week, benefited from South Florida's demise and moved up a spot to No. 2. The Eagles earned a pair of first-place votes and 1,494 points to edge LSU (7-1), which rallied for a dramatic 30-24 win over Auburn on Saturday. The Tigers received five first-place votes and 1,479 points to move up two spots from fifth.

Oklahoma (7-1), after a less-than-stellar 17-7 win over Iowa State, remained fourth and is followed by Oregon, West Virginia, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, Florida and Southern California.

Arizona State (7-0), idle this past Saturday, registered one first-place vote for the second straight week and moved up five spots. Florida and Southern California are tied for ninth.

After South Florida at No. 11, undefeated Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina, Hawaii, Texas, California, Michigan and Georgia round out the remainder of the second 10.

Kentucky tumbled six spots from eighth after a 45-37 home loss to Florida, while South Carolina matched South Florida for the biggest drop within the poll. The Gamecocks also fell nine spots from sixth to 15th after a stunning 17-6 home loss to Vanderbilt. California also dropped eight spots from 10th after a second consecutive loss, a 30-21 defeat at the hands of UCLA.

Virginia, Alabama, Auburn, Penn State and Rutgers round out this week's poll.

Four of the bottom five are newcomers.

Virginia makes its 2007 debut in the rankings after an 18-17 last-second victory over Maryland gave the Cavaliers their seventh straight win following a season-opening loss at Wyoming.

Alabama is back for the second time this season. The Crimson Tide had a two- week run in late September following a 3-0 start, but lost twice as a ranked team and has now won three straight, including this past Saturday's 41-17 rout of Tennessee.

Penn State began the season as the 17th-ranked team and got as high as No. 10 before losses to Michigan and Illinois. The Nittany Lions have won three in a row to move back in.

Rutgers also started the season in the poll and reached No. 10 before back-to- back losses against Maryland and Cincinnati. The Scarlet Knights have won two in a row, culminating in the big victory over South Florida.

Penn State and Rutgers will have immediate tests in their respective returns to ranked action. The Nittany Lions will have the biggest with a visit from No. 1 Ohio State on Saturday night, while the Scarlet Knights will host West Virginia in a huge Big East matchup.

The big weekend of ranked teams facing each other gets an early start on Thursday when Virginia Tech welcomes Boston College, as the Eagles try to end the streak of losses by the second-ranked team.

Two games from the Pac-10 on Saturday involve a pair of ranked teams, as California tries to get back on the winning track against unbeaten Arizona State in Tempe and Oregon takes on Southern California in Eugene.

The SEC has just one game with a pair of ranked teams this week, as Georgia and Florida meet in Jacksonville at the Cocktail Party.

Four teams dropped out of this week's poll, as Texas Tech, Tennessee, Kansas State and Cincinnati all lost this past Saturday.

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Idle Boston College moves up to No. 2 in BCS
October 21st, 2007

Irving, TX (Sports Network) - South Florida's national championship hopes may have ended in New Jersey on Thursday, while Boston College's chances took a boost as the Eagles enjoyed a weekend off.

Ohio State (8-0) remained atop the BCS standings, released on Sunday, with a .9759 average after hanging on for a 24-17 win over Michigan State. The Buckeyes travel to State College next weekend to take on Penn State, which moved into the BCS top-25 this week, at 25th.

The Bulls (6-1) dropped a heartbreaker, 30-27, at Rutgers on Thursday night, and fell out of second place all the way to 10th in latest standings. Boston College (7-0), with an average of .9501, jumped up a spot to second thanks to South Florida's slip-up, and now eyes a possible spot in the BCS National Championship Game. Standing in the way of the Eagles title hopes is the meat of their ACC schedule, starting with a visit to Virginia Tech (6-1), eighth in the BCS standings, on Thursday night.

LSU (7-1), which battled back to defeat Auburn 30-24 on Saturday, remains very much in the national championship conversation with a .9114 average. The Tigers will take a week off before traveling to Alabama on Nov. 3.

Arizona State (7-0) was also idle this weekend, and is solidly in fourth behind LSU, with a .7629 average. The Sun Devils start the heart of their Pac-10 schedule next week, when they host California, before traveling to Oregon on Nov. 3. The Ducks (6-1) outran Washington 55-34 Saturday, and moved up from 10th to 5th.

Oregon was able to move up thanks to two tumbling SEC teams. South Carolina was upset by Vanderbilt at home, 17-6, to drop from sixth to 16th. Kentucky (6-2) was outslugged, 45-37, by Florida to fall from seventh to 14th.

The Gators (5-2) rebounded from two tough losses to Auburn and LSU with the win at Kentucky, and now find themselves at 11th, up from 15th.

Oklahoma (7-1) and West Virginia (6-1) both won to move to sixth and seventh, respectively, while Kansas (7-0) edged Colorado, 19-14, and moved into ninth.

USC rebounded from two bad appearances, an embarrassing upset loss to Stanford and an unimpressive 20-13 win over Arizona, to stomp Notre Dame, 38-0, and move up two spots to 12th.

The Western Athletic Conference's Hawaii (7-0), which was idle this week after struggling to a 42-35 overtime win over San Jose State on Oct. 12, remained the only school not from a BCS conference to crack the top-25.

The final BCS standings will be released on December 2.

The BCS title game will be played in New Orleans on January 7. The other top bowl games -- Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta -- will still play their traditional games on New Year's Day or soon after. The BCS title game rotates among the four traditional sites -- Pasadena, Miami, New Orleans and Arizona -- giving each of the venues two games in one particular season.

The champions from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac-10 and SEC make up six of the 10 teams in the five BCS games. The other four spots go to at-large teams that have at least nine wins and are ranked among the top 14 in the final BCS standings.

One team from among the champions of Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference or the Western Athletic Conference automatically qualify for a BCS game if either: such team is ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS standings, or, such team is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and its ranking in the final BCS standings is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls.

The BCS system uses a pair of human polls -- the Harris Interactive and the USA Today -- as well as six computer rankings. Each poll counts one-third toward the overall score, while the average of the computers completes the formula.

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Temple QB DiMichele has surgery, out for season
October 21, 2007

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Temple quarterback Adam DiMichele had successful ankle surgery Sunday but will be out for the rest of the season, the school said.

DiMichele's left tibia was fractured when he was sacked with just over 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter of Temple's 24-17 victory over Miami on Saturday.

The redshirt junior is expected to make a full recovery, officials said.

Before he was injured, DiMichele was 4-for-4 for 36 yards, and two minutes earlier had scored Temple's second touchdown to give his team a 14-7 lead. He started all eight games for Temple this fall and led the team to three straight wins.

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Syracuse RB Brinkley out for season
October 21, 2007

Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson said Sunday that junior running back Curtis Brinkley suffered a broken right tibia that will require surgery and prevent him from playing again this season, but Brinkley is expected to make a full recovery.

"It's not career ending," Robinson said. "A broken bone is a broken bone. Many, many players have come back from that."

Brinkley suffered the injury Saturday with 4:29 left in the first quarter after a 2-yard run up the middle. Brinkley, who was on pace for his best game of the season with 40 yards rushing on six carries, was carried off the field and retreated on crutches to the locker room for observation. He was coming off a season-high, 98-yard performance against Rutgers.

"He kind of got caught inside-out," Robinson said. "A guy came down on his leg. It was just a football play. Curtis knew. He's been in hundreds of those before. It was just a freak thing."

Brinkley's loss means Syracuse (2-6) will have to finish the season without its top two tailbacks from a year ago. Delone Carter, who led the Orange in rushing as a freshman with 713 yards, dislocated a hip in the spring scrimmage in April and has not played since.

"It's a setback for our football team, and obviously a setback for Curtis," Robinson said. "We have to be able to deal with it and move on."

@Tab0: Despite the loss of Brinkley, the Orange had their best rushing output of the season in Saturday's 20-12 victory over Buffaing

83 yards on 24 carries and scoring once.

"That definitely helps a lot," senior safety Joe Fields said. "It felt like we had only played a quarter. It kept us going and humming."

Robinson said he was thankful for the upcoming bye week because of the team's injuries. Defensive back Dowayne Davis left the Buffalo game in the second quarter after a hard hit, but Robinson said he's fine.

"He had his bell rung," Robinson said. "They are just doing precautionary testing."

Notes:Mike Williams and Taj Smith each had 113 yards receiving against Buffalo to become the first Syracuse duo to go over 100 yards receiving in a game since Marvin Harrison and Shelby Hill in 1993. ... Williams has caught a TD pass in five straight games, tying a school mark shared by Harrison, Tommy Kane and Rob Moore.

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College football betting news and notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

STARS

-John Parker Wilson, and DJ Hall, Alabama. Wilson passed for a career-high 363 yards and three touchdowns, and Hall had a school-record 13 catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-17 victory over Tennessee.

-Tyler Roehl, North Dakota State, ran for a school-record 266 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bison to a 27-21 victory over Minnesota.

-P.J. Hill, Wisconsin, ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-3 victory over Northern Illinois.

-Cullen Harper, Clemson, completed 20 of 22 passes for 273 yards and matched a school record with five touchdown passes in a 70-14 rout of Central Michigan.

-Luke Lippincott, Nevada, ran for 241 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Wolf Pack past Utah State, 31-28.

-Tim Tebow, Florida, threw for a career-high four touchdowns to lead the Gators to a 45-37 victory over No. 8 Kentucky.

IT'S BEEN A WHILE

Vanderbilt's Mackenzi Adams threw two touchdown passes, and D.J. Moore had two key interceptions to help the Commodores upset No. 6 South Carolina 17-6. The Commodores hadn't beaten a team ranked this highly since topping No. 6 LSU 7-6 in 1937.

GATOR BAIT

Tim Tebow threw for a career-high four touchdowns and No. 14 Florida rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 45-37 victory over No. 8 Kentucky. It was the Gators' 21st straight win against the Wildcats. Kentucky hasn't beaten Florida since 1986, the third-longest current streak in the nation between major opponents who have played every year without interruption.

UPSET SPECIALS

UCLA's Alterraun Verner intercepted Nate Longshore's pass and sprinted 76 yards to the end zone with 1:33 remaining to seal the Bruins' 30-21 victory over No. 10 California. ... John Parker Wilson passed for a career-high 363 yards and three touchdowns, DJ Hall had a school-record 13 catches for 185 yards and Alabama rolled to a 41-17 victory over No. 20 Tennessee.

PUNCHLESS IRISH


Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes and No. 13 USC beat Notre Dame 38-0, the largest margin of victory for the Trojans' in the 79-game history of the storied rivalry. The Irish also lost 38-0 to Michigan earlier this season. The two 38-point losses are tied for the eighth worst losses in Notre Dame history. The loss ensures Notre Dame its 13th losing season since it started playing football in 1887, and its fourth losing season since 1999. It also is the fourth straight home loss, tying a school record.

CLOSE CALLS

Ohio State built a comfortable lead and then gave up two touchdowns off turnovers late in the third quarter, and the No. 1 Buckeyes slipped past Michigan State, 24-17. ... Chris Brown ran for two second-half touchdowns and No. 4 Oklahoma survived a major scare from Iowa State, beating the Cyclones 17-7. The Sooners had just 109 yards of total offense by the break and trailed at halftime for the first time since they lost the Fiesta Bowl to Boise State in January.

SUPER SUBS

Rashaun Grant ran for 119 yards and a touchdown in place of injured star Tashard Choice and Georgia Tech beat Army 34-10. Choice hurt his right knee late in the first quarter. The senior, in obvious pain, was helped off the field and then wheeled to the locker room. Grant, also a senior, posted his first 100-yard game since his freshman season. ... Backup tailback Jimmy Jackson had 59 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries for Missouri, filling in for Tony Temple, sidelined a second straight game by a sprained ankle. The Tigers beat No. 22 Texas Tech 41-10.

STREAKS

Grand Valley State won its 35th straight game to set an Division II record, beating Northwood 51-20. The last time the Lakers' lost was Nov. 27, 2004, at North Dakota in the NCAA playoffs. ... USC beat Notre Dame 38-0. It was the Trojans sixth straight over the Irish, the longest streak for USC against Notre Dame.

SNAPPED

Vanderbilt upset No. 6 South Carolina 17-6, ending Steve Spurrier's unblemished record against the school. Spurrier came into the game 14-0 against the Commodores.

WHAT A RUSH

Jamar Brittingham became Bloomsburg's career rushing leader, running for 257 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-28 victory over Millersville. Brittingham moved past Irv Sigler (5,034 yards) in the first quarter and pushed his total to 5,219 with his 10th career 200-yard game. Brittingham, who holds 23 school or conference records, moved within 428 yards of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference rushing record of 5,647 held by California, Pa.'s Wesley Cates.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Kentucky's Andre Woodson threw for 415 yards and five TDs in the Wildcats' 45-37 loss to Florida. ... Brown's Michael Dougherty went 32-of-55 for 359 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-31 overtime loss to Cornell. ... Samford's Chris Evans ran for 212 yards in a 28-25 loss to Austin Peay.

SPEAKING

''I could have driven my car through the holes I was given.'' - Texas A&M's Jorvorskie Lane after rushing for 130 yards and four touchdowns in the Aggies' 36-14 victory at Nebraska.

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UNC's Strong, Barbour suspended indefinitely
October 22nd, 2007

Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - University of North Carolina sophomore football players Jermaine Strong and Andre Barbour have been suspended indefinitely from the team for violating team and university policies, UNC head coach Butch Davis announced Monday.

"It's disappointing to have to take this action," Davis said. "Both players had a tremendous opportunity to help this football team."

Strong, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound cornerback from Shelby, North Carolina, had made nine tackles in the Heels' first seven games after earning a starting position midway through his freshman season.

Barbour, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive tackle out of North Springs High School in Atlanta, played some tight end out of necessity in his first season before moving back to tackle as a co-starter for the 2007 season.

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Week 8 Rewind
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

The hits just keep on coming for top-10 teams during the 2007 college football season. Week 8 was certainly no exception, as the count for the season reached 11.

The victims included South Florida, which went down at Rutgers in a thrilling Thursday night affair. The Scarlet Knights won a 30-27 decision as 2 ½-point underdogs.

South Carolina was the most surprising victim, falling to Vanderbilt 17-6 as a 14-point home ‘chalk.’ The Commodores, who improved to 4-3 and appear to be on their way to a bowl bid for the first time since 1982, had not beaten a team ranked as highly as the sixth-ranked Gamecocks since 1937.

Vandy quarterback Mackenzie Adams was effective enough in his first career start, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and running for 84 yards. D.J. Moore had a pair of interceptions for a defense that held South Carolina to 195 total yards. Vandy’s defense recorded seven sacks and allowed the Gamecocks to convert just one third down in 12 chances.

LSU played a third thrilling game in as many weeks, beating Auburn 30-24 thanks to a 22-yard TD pass from Matt Flynn to Demetrius Byrd with one second left. Just like its win against Florida, the Bayou Bengals rallied from a double-digit deficit. However, they failed to hook up their backers as 10-point favorites.

The curious coaching decisions of Les Miles continued, but so did the improbable and favorable results. Against Florida, Miles decided to go for it on fourth down five times, yet his team converted each time when one failure would’ve likely resulted in defeat.

Against Auburn, LSU decided not to use a timeout as the clock counted down from nine seconds. Instead of attempting a 39-yard field goal for the win, the sidelines instructed Flynn to throw a fade to the corner of the end zone. If the ball was tipped or fell incomplete, time could’ve – and probably would’ve – expired.

But Flynn threw a perfect pass that was well defended on another magical night at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. LSU has an open date to prep for its showdown against Alabama and its former coach on Nov. 3. The Tigers and Crimson Tide are both 4-1 in SEC play and tied for first place in the SEC West.

Auburn has covered the spread in five straight games, while LSU has lost five in a row for our purposes. Tommy Tuberville’s team improved to 4-0 ATS when listed as a double-digit underdog since 2001.

Florida looked like a top-five team and ended a two-game losing streak by winning 45-37 at Kentucky as a seven-point favorite. Tim Tebow and Andre Woodson put on an offensive show, combining for 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The 82 combined points easily sailed ‘over’ the 64-point total.

UF senior WR Andre Caldwell looked 100 percent for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 2. Caldwell gives the Gators an explosive third option to go with Percy Harvin and Tebow.

The Wildcats have now lost 21 consecutive games to Florida. The Gators jumped to No. 11 in the BCS rankings. They are No. 9 in the AP poll, No. 6 in LVSC’s newest Top 30.

Ok, I guess it’s time to start paying attention to Virginia. The Cavaliers rallied to win 18-17 at Maryland as four-point underdogs. They are three-point favorites for a Week 9 trip to N.C. State.

Pittsburgh snapped a four-game losing streak with a surprising 24-17 win over Cincinnati as a 10-point home underdog. LeSean McCoy and LaRod Stephens-Howling combined for 237 rushing yards for the Panthers, who are at Louisville this week. Dave Wannstedt’s team opened as a 14-point underdog, but most books were closer to 10 early Monday morning.

Oklahoma got all it wanted from Iowa State in Ames. The Cyclones led 7-0 at intermission and should’ve been ahead 10-0 if not for a missed field goal. The Sooners rallied for a 17-7 victory, but Iowa St. easily took the cash as a 31 ½-point underdog.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Vandy was 0-14 against Steve Spurrier before Saturday’s win at Williams-Brice Stadium.

--Notre Dame took another bagel in its 38-0 home loss to USC. The Irish are 1-7 with Navy, Air Force, Duke and Stanford on deck. I’m calling it two weeks in advance: Navy will end 43 years of futility against Notre Dame by winning in South Bend.

--Heisman Candidates:

1-Andre Woodson (Kentucky)
2-Tim Tebow (Florida)
3-Matt Ryan (Boston College)
4-Steve Slaton (West Virginia)
5-Graham Harrell (Texas Tech)

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Weatherford to start again at quarterback when Florida State faces Duke
October 22, 2007

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -Drew Weatherford will return as the starting quarterback for Florida State on Saturday against Duke in the wake of the Seminoles' 37-29 loss to archrival Miami over the weekend.

Weatherford will get the nod over Xavier Lee, coach Bobby Bowden said on Monday. Lee replaced Weatherford on Sept. 29.

Lee was intercepted twice and had two fumbles in his third start of the season. One of the fumbles was recovered by Miami for a key late-game touchdown Saturday. He completed 14 of 32 passes for 208 yards.

Florida State (4-3, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) has lost 10 of its last 14 ACC games after losing its second straight Saturday.

The Seminoles hope Weatherford can get them back on track against Duke (1-6, 0-4) before a string of tough games, including three road contests against ranked teams: No. 2 Boston College, No. 8 Virginia Tech and No. 9 Florida.

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Yellow Jackets' Choice to undergo surgery
October 22nd, 2007

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Georgia Tech running back Tashard Choice will have surgery Tuesday on his injured right knee.

Choice, who suffered the setback against Army this past Saturday and left the game, had an MRI on Monday.

It is not known how long the senior will be sidelined until after the procedure. Choice, who leads the ACC in rushing with 108 yards per game, will at least miss Georgia Tech's contest against Virginia Tech on November 1.

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Tough test of BC this week at Virginia Tech. Blacksburg is always a tough place to play and the upset has reigned king in college football this year. Personally I think the Eagles are a bit fraudulent, but I guess we'll see this week... 

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Diesel34 wrote:


Tough test of BC this week at Virginia Tech. Blacksburg is always a tough place to play and the upset has reigned king in college football this year. Personally I think the Eagles are a bit fraudulent, but I guess we'll see this week... 

They get fired up in Blacksburg for those night games.

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NMSU gets win, losses receiver

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico State receiver Chris Williams will miss six to eight weeks after breaking his right collarbone in Saturday's 45-31 win over Idaho in Las Cruces.

Williams was hit near the sidelines in the second quarter then escorted by trainers to the locker room a short time later. Early in the third, team officials announced he wouldn't return.

Coach Hal Mumme says if the Aggies reach a bowl game, Williams would probably be back for that.

Williams came into the Idaho contest ranked ninth nationally with an average of 106.5 yards receiving per game. Last fall, he led the nation with a 117.9-yard average.

Kenneth Buckley, who replaced Williams against Idaho, caught six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

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NU's Sutton primed for Purdue
chicagotribune.com

It appears that junior running back Tyrell Sutton, sidelined by a high ankle sprain since the second week of the season, will start Saturday when Northwestern visits Purdue.

"You don't lose your job because of injury," Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said Monday. "You lose your job if you come back and you're not giving the team the same thing [you gave] before you were hurt.

"As we move forward, I would fully anticipate to see Tyrell [start] and then have Omar [Conteh] play quite a bit."

Sutton, who gained at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, got in for three plays in NU's win Friday over Eastern Michigan. He did not get a carry, but he did announce he was back after handing the ball to Eric Peterman on a reverse, which the receiver turned into a 21-yard gain.

"He had a huge block, just laid out [a guy] and actually got [Peterman] a couple more yards," said guard Adam Crum. "He decleated the guy. You see it on film, you go, 'Wow!' "

With his return, the 5-foot-9-inch, 190-pound Sutton not only gives the Wildcats' potent offense another dangerous weapon, "he adds a different dimension attitude-wise," Crum said. "You never find someone of his size and stature with that swagger he's got and [the ability] to back it up the way he has. He's a very fiery guy, and he keeps everybody locked in.

"He had that huge hit. Not many guys can do that coming back off such a long layoff, just come back and immediately, it's like, 'I'm back on the field and everyone knows it.' "

Extra point
Quarterback C.J. Bacher leads the Big Ten with an average of 324.8 passing yards per game. Just behind him is Purdue's Curtis Painter at 279.8.

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Upon further review: Week 8 lessons learned
By TIM ROBERTS
Covers.com

The popularity of the phrase "Git 'er done" is usually attributed to Larry the Cable Guy, whoever that is. I come from the sticks, however, and can vouch that folks in rural areas have been gittin' 'er done for decades.

Of course, where I'm from, gittin' 'er done usually involves four-wheelers, shotguns, alcohol and large game.

That's why Brent Musberger made my Saturday night. Illinois scored on a 90-yard drive against Michigan and Musberger decided that the Illini "got 'er done." He said this at the same time Yahoo Sports' top headline was "Gators Git 'er Done!" after Florida beat Kentucky.

Is talking like a hick suddenly chic in journalism circles? I can't wait to hear what comes out of Musberger's mouth this Saturday. Maybe "You skin them rabbits yet?" or "Let's go queer huntin'!"

C'mon Brent. Stick to your condescending / pompous schtick – you're so good at it.

My Week 7 wagering was better than last week's but not good enough. Let's check out what went down last Saturday so our Week 8 wagers can git 'er done for real.

California Golden Bears

Were the Bears done in by their quarterback for the second straight week? Nate Longshore was driving late in the fourth with a chance to win the game (and cover at -2 as long as they scored a major and not a field goal). But Longshore stared unwaveringly at DeSean Jackson like I used to stare at Stephanie Seymour posters in the late ‘80s. UCLA's Alterraun Verner easily picked him off and put the game and my payday out of reach.

I'm not playing Cal this week for two reasons: (a) the Bears will be deflated after waking up from their Rose Bowl dreams, and (b) I've already underestimated the Sun Devils this year.

Clemson Tigers

How to scare a bettor on Clemson -17: have him watch Central Michigan effortlessly carve through the Tigers' defense to take a 7-0 lead. How to make that same bettor feel much smarter: let him watch Clemson score 70 of the next 77 points.

I'm calling a 45-42 final score when Boston College visits Clemson on Nov. 17.

Florida Gators

And the prize for the cheapest cover of the day goes to ...

Hey, I can't complain, as I was on the Gators -7. But the Wildcats trudging off the field without attempting their extra point on a last-second touchdown will go down as one of those classic gambling stories for decades to come.

Andre Caldwell, Percy Harvin and return man Brandon James each made huge plays in the second half to thwart Kentucky's repeated comeback attempts. Florida needs more of the same against Georgia this weekend: players stepping up to help Tim Tebow.

Florida State Seminoles

I want a reset button! I was on the under when the Seminoles hosted Miami and I'd make that play again despite Saturday's shootout-like score.

I've never seen so many points arise out of sloppy turnovers. Nine times out of ten, these crap offenses combine for less than 40 points. Maybe I'm bitter because I took the under 21 ½ for the second half in a fit of stubbornness. I was burned by that too.

Duke is next up for Florida State and I'm going to bank on the Blue Devils like it's basketball season.

Question: why was former FSU star Chris Weinke wearing a helmet to announce the starting lineup on ABC? Is he the John Olerud of football players?

Illinois Fighting Illini

Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit doted on it but it had to be said again: Illinois was killed by its special teams play. A roughing-the-kicker call gave Michigan the ball and a touchdown to end the first half and a muffed fair catch gifted the Wolverines another in the fourth quarter. Think that makes a difference in a 10-point game with a 2-point spread?

Illinois catches a break this week with Ball State coming to town. For the sake of the team and its backers, head coach Ron Zook has to pick a quarterback and ride him the rest of the way. The back-and-forth between Juice Williams and Eddie McGee is working for no one except Illinois' opposition.

Indiana Hoosiers

Kellen Lewis gave and he took away on Saturday. He gave Penn State the ball, repeatedly, via fumbles. He took away Penn State backers' money because he's so talented.

Indiana had the athletes to make PSU defenders miss and the same can happen in Madison this Saturday. I'm curious to see how many points oddsmakers give the Hoosiers considering Wisconsin's 35-point win in the teams' last meeting.

Iowa Hawkeyes

If I ever visit Iowa, I'd love to toss the pigskin with Jake Christensen. I'm 6-foot-4 but I wager I couldn't reach a single pass he threw in my direction. His overthrows on first and second downs against Purdue set up repeated third-and-longs. Iowa converted only three of its 16 third down attempts.

The Hawkeyes were a lost cause offensively and will get no more backing from this guy. They were easily my worst play of Week 7.

Kansas Jayhawks

Will somebody please beat Kansas? I can't stand the thought of the Jayhawks in the top 10, but upcoming games against Texas A&M and Nebraska virtually guarantee it will happen.

Kansas impressively gutted out a low-scoring game in Boulder on Saturday. The Jayhawks took advantage of the only 20-plus yard play in the first half (Todd Reesing's 53-yard sprint) by notching a field goal, then bent-but-didn't-break in the second half as the Buffaloes pressed.

Kentucky Wildcats

Prior to last season, Kentucky would've had to stay on the field and attempt the convert after its game-ending touchdown. Heck, maybe Rich Brooks would have gone for two just to give the offense an extra rep (and the school's backers a reason to smile). Guess we'll never know.

On the plus side, Kentucky's cheerleading squad wins "Best outfit of the day" for its off-the-shoulder ripped sweatshirt tops. The outfits invoked Olivia Newton-John in her "Let's get Physical" days (and that's a good thing).

Michigan Wolverines

Michigan impressed me without Mike Hart and with Chad Henne playing hurt. With Minnesota on tap, however, bettors have to know who'll be in the Wolverines backfield before playing either side. Hart and Henne could take the weekend off to prepare for November.

Ohio State Buckeyes

I'm biased, having written a pro-Ohio State column last week. But I can't recall a more dominant performance in a game that ended up 24-17. Ohio State ran the ball down Michigan State’s throat, quarterback Todd Boeckman was perfect early in the game and the Buckeyes’ defense humiliated the Spartans' supposedly high-octane attack throughout.

Two MSU defensive touchdowns later, though, and more and more people are jumping down the Buckeyes' throats for being pretenders to the No. 1 throne. Fine. I'll play on OSU the rest of the way this year and we'll see where things stand on the night of Nov. 17.*

Oregon Ducks

Oregon is facing USC at absolutely the right time – these Ducks are flying high after gaining 465 rushing yards against the Huskies. UW tied the score in the second half but Oregon's no-huddle had Huskies defenders absolutely gasping. I felt confident about my Oregon -13 play all night.

No offense in the country is as deadly. It's always a surprising when punter Josh Syria’s services are needed.

But Oregon has to ditch the all-whites. Penn State looks classy in all white uniforms, but the Ducks just looked pale and sickly.

Penn State Nittany Lions

The Covers.com hate affair with Anthony Morelli isn't over yet.

Morelli was 18-for-22 in the first half but none of his completions were for distance. His one long foray into the end zone was easily picked off. The Lions need him to be more accurate to keep good defenses off the run – defenses like Ohio State's. The Buckeyes visit Happy Valley this weekend, FYI.

Pittsburgh Panthers

Three surprises: Pitt won the turnovers battle over Cincinnati on Saturday, ran over what had been the Big East's top run defense and protected its quarterback.

Defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads looked like he was ready to pour a bucket of Gatorade over himself after the Panthers shut out the Bearcats in the second half. Rhoads, in fact, reveled in his increased camera time a little too much with injured head coach Dave Wannstedt in the booth upstairs.

Is Rhoads gunning for Wannstedt's job? We'll see what he concocts against Louisville's passing attack this Saturday before stirring the pot any more.

Purdue Boilermakers


Dorien Bryant was even better than his stats suggest. His touchdown catches came when he snuck behind the Iowa safeties, but he was just as dangerous in one-on-one coverage down the sidelines. Iowa was flagged more than once for pass interference when corners couldn't defend Bryant.

That’s worth noting if only because three of Purdue's remaining four games are potential stat-padders against iffy defenses.

Tennessee Volunteers

I'd excused the Vols' earlier losses to Cal and Florida because they were against two of the most potent offenses in the nation. I think I gave the Tennessee defense too much credit. It needs to get its act together if the Vols want to avoid the embarrassment of a .500 season.

The secondary made John Parker Wilson look like a long-lost (and better looking) Manning brother and the front seven couldn't stop Bama from chewing up the clock.

USC Trojans

The Trojans defense can’t get too comfy after Saturday’s shutout. Oregon's offense is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum of Notre Dame's.

On the plus side, Joe McKnight's blazing touchdown run against the Irish reminded everyone that a couple of injured tailbacks won't spell the complete demise of this year's USC squad.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 9

News and Notes - Week 9
Northcoast Sports

Week 9

Steve Kragthorpe pointed out that after Louisville's TD which put them up 17-7 that they should have been up 17-0 in the 4Q against Connecticut. One of the more amazing plays happened when UC'S PR signaled for a fair catch but then took off running and went 74 yds for a TD while UL players stopped. Amazingly they let it stand. It was a normal fair catch signal and although the NCAA rule book says a PR must wave your hand, if that were the case then opposing PR D's could tee off on probably 70% of the PR's out there who simply threw their hands up and catch the ball on a fair catch. UL also had to use a time-out to try and force a replay on the poor fair catch call and that left them short on their final drive and a deep pass was int'd with :10 left after UC had come back. Another key play happened when UL was SOD at the UC 28 with 5:41 left up by 3. UC then drove 71/9pl for a the TD and their first lead of the game with 1:28 left...

USF became the 3rd #2 ranked team to lose in 3 weeks in their upset loss to Rutgers. A controversial play happened there late as USF converted a 4th & 22 which kept their final drive alive down to the Rutgers 27 yd line but a very subtle push off was called for offensive pass interference and USF was int'd on a 4th & 37 pass on the next play...

N Illinois suffered its worst defeat since 1998 and did not get a FD until 1:00 was left in the 1H. Justin Anderson, who had 5 straight 100 yd games, was held to 14 yds on 13 carries and UW piled up 331 yds rushing on 55 carries...

Clemson got its highest point (70) and yard (656) totals in 26 years in their romp over C Michigan as a 3H Key Selection on these pages. CM actually jumped out to a 7-0 lead scoring a TD on their first drive but CU dominated the rest of the game leading 35-7 at the half with a 405-164 yd edge and 63-14 after 3Q's...

NCSt had not beaten a IA foe in over a year and had a 384-326 yd edge vs E Carolina but nearly blew a 21-0 2Q lead. EC pulled within 21-20 after 3Q's but Daniel Evans hit 29 of 44 for 335 yds for the Wolfpack and they got 2 FG's and a TD in the 4Q for a 14 point win...

For the first time since 1977 the Florida St/Miami game was played with neither team ranked. The bumbling, stumbling FSU team has failed to live up to its talent level this year and gave away another game. FSU settled for 5 FG's during the game from the 6, 14, 16, 27 and 28. Had they punched in the score on any of those, they would have had the game out of reach but they led 29-24 when Miami, Fl got an 18 yd TD pass to take a 1 point lead with 1:15 left. Miami then made it a misleading final by returning a fmbl 27 yds for a TD. FSU had a 366-326 yd edge but lost again...

USC got its largest margin of victory ever in the 79 game history of the Notre Dame series with a 38-0 win. ND lost by an identical score at home to Michigan earlier in the year but has not yet topped their worst ever home loss which was in 1956 (40-0 to Oklahoma). The Irish had won 11 straight in this series from 1983-'93 but USC has now won 6 in a row. USC had a 462-165 yd edge and ND played with green jerseys and yellow pants, which was the same color they wore in 1977 when they upset the #5 USC Trojans...

Arizona had a 368-277 yd edge vs Stanford and gave up a TD with 5:54 left to trail by 1 and AZ's last 2 drives were SOD at the SU 43 and they fumbled at their own 14 with 1:35 left. The Cats led 10-0 early but Tavita Pritchard (SU QB) improved to 2-0 on the road as a starter and for the first time in his 3 starts hit over 50% of his passes...

Ole Miss QB Seth Adams had 4 int's giving him 10 in the Rebels recent 3 game home stand. Arkansas dominated on the ground as expected with 293 yds rushing scoring TD's on drives of 68, 63 and 25 (after int) on their first 3 drives to lead 21-0 and UM's only TD came in the 4Q with backup QB Schaeffer who had a TD and 2 pt conversion with 6:26 left to avoid the shutout...

Oklahoma did not look like a Top 5 team vs Iowa St. In fact, they had just a 316-269 yd edge and only led 14-7 in the 4Q when they got an int in the EZ with 6:54 left. The Sooners would convert on 4th & 4 with a 14 yd pass to the ISU 19 and got a 43 yd FG with 1:34 left to clinch the win in a game OU trailed at the half (7-0) for the first time this season...

Cincinnati entered the Pitt game leading the Big East in rush D but the Pitt offense shredded them for 260 yds rushing. It was the first time Pitt had two 100 yd rushers in a game since 1988. Pitt did need a late TD to take its first lead 24-17 but had 427-358 yd and 26-18 FD edges. Pitt had settled for 3 FG's and UC, which had a great streak of TO's to begin the year giving them a misleading undefeated record, had a TO deficit for the 2nd straight week (3-1)...

Vanderbilt defeated Steve Spurrier for the first time in 15 tries and defeated their highest ranked opponent in 70 years (1937) knocking off #6 South Carolina. VU had 7 sacks. Turnovers hurt SC early as an int set up a 22 yd FG and a fumble a 24 yd TD drive. VU led 17-0 and never trailed...

Alabama had lost 10 of the last 12 meetings vs Tennessee but got their biggest win in the series since 1986 despite the fact that they suspended 5 players including 2 OL starters just minutes before the game. Bama had a 510-362 yd edge in the 41-17 romp...

JB Sports waited 12 years to release his first College 5H on the Northcoast Community Line and it was a comfortable winner as Purdue whipped Iowa 31-6 with UI getting its fewest points scored vs PU since 1976. PU had 29-14 FD and 431-254 yd edges...

One of the upsets specials of the week on philsteele.com was N Dakota St to upset Minnesota and yet another IAA team pulled out a win. Of course those that follow the series know that LY NDSt deserved to beat UM in a 10-9 loss where they had a blk'd FG on the final play and blew numerous other opportunities. NDSt entered #1 in IAA and will not be available for the playoffs but their hopes are to finish #1 in the regular season in IAA and finish unbeaten. They had a 585-307 yd edge and 27-17 FD edge but still needed ten 4Q points for the 27-21 win. NDSt RB Tyler Roehl had a school record 263 yds rushing on 22 carries and is a 228 lb powerback...

Kent St had a 382-381 yd edge vs Bowling Green but in the 1H settled for 20 and 31 yd FG's while BG had a pair of TD's and they trailed by 1. In the 2H twice KSU was SOD at the BG 3 yd line and they came up 8 points short...

Nevada had 27-12 FD and 472-212 yd edges vs Utah St but at the half it was Utah St with 10-9 FD edge and 194-174 yd edges as they caught UN in a great situation coming off a 4OT game vs Boise on Sunday night and having to travel. UN trailed most of the 2H but after converting on 4th & 1 got a 32 yd TD pass with 7:18 left then forced a punt and would get 36 yds getting 3 FD's running out the clock to their own 39...

Memphis had a 539-338 yd edge and should have been up more than their 38-28 lead with 5:49 left vs Rice. Three times Memphis had a 1st & goal at the 5, 7 and 4 yds lines and 3 times settled for short FG's. Memphis also missed a 47 yd FG. Rice got a TD with 2:09 left and Memphis rec'd the onside kick, they had a 1st & goal at the Rice 3 but took a knee at the end of the game...

Nebraska did have a 284-210 yd edge at the half but fumbled the punt setting up an Aggie 28 yd drive for a TD and NU was also SOD at the A&M 9 but the Aggies did dominate the 2H and had 359 yds rushing...

Colorado on 3rd & 1 at the Kansas 12 had RB Charles purposely fumbled the ball forward when he was being stopped short of the FD and KU rec'd. They got a 3rd & 5, 53 yd run by QB Reesing on the next play to set up a FG. CU later missed a 46 yd FG and was int'd at the KU 29 and trailed 3-0 at the half. CU drove for a TD to lead 7-3 but trailing 19-14 their final 2 passes were incomplete from midfield with 1:46 left. CU did have a 353-333 yd edge. KU is now 7-0 for just the 2nd time since 1968...

New Mexico did have a 365-299 yd edge over SDSt but needed a 25 yd TD pass with :11 left in the 1H and a 6 yd TD run with :15 left in the game to pull out the win. The Aztecs had the game locked up as they were running out the clock and on 3rd & 11 QB O'Connell got a FD run and with NM having just 1 time-out left, it would have clinched the game but he fumbled at the end of the run and NM rec'd at their 35 and drove for the game winning TD...

Syracuse/Buffalo was tied at 3 and SU was pinned at its own 1 with just 4:00 left in the half. The Orange got a 58 yd pass keying a 99/7pl drive for a TD with :52 left and after rec'ing a fmbl, added a 10 yd TD pass 4 plays later and stunningly a close game turned into 17-3 at the half. In the 2H Buffalo settled for FG's of 32, 29 and 32 yds...

New Mexico St QB Chase Holbrook ret'd to the lineup after missing 2 games and threw for 404 yds and NMSt did not punt until 1:00 was left in the 3Q. NMSt did get a 100 yd IR TD to blow it open...

LSU had a 488-296 yd edge vs Auburn but needed a 22 yd TD pass with :01 to pull out the win...

Matt Forté set another CUSA record, this time with 342 yds rushing vs SMU. SMU forced OT with a 7 yd TD pass with :08 left as QB Willis hit 28-36 for 354 but Forté got a 9 yd TD run to clinch the upset and snapped the Green Wave's 8 straight conf road losses...

Houston delivered a huge 4H Key Selection winner for us on these pages and absolutely throttled UAB. They had 33-12 FD and 540-224 yd edges rolling to a 49-10 win as it was 35-10 at the half and they coasted through the 2H...

Another tough loss this past week for W Michigan as they had a 196-72 rushing edge vs Ball St and gave up a TD with 1:07 left and could not hold on to their lead losing 27-23 at home...

Middle Tenn's D set a school record with 9 sacks vs Arkansas St and MTSt had 384-138 yd and 22-8 FD edges in their dominating 24-7 win over Arkansas St. MTSt QB Craddock who began the year as starter even saw some action hitting 2-4 for 61 yds...

Usually when a team turns the ball over 7 times they have no shot at winning but Troy had 7 TO's vs N Texas but still won the game 45-7!...

Penn St led Indiana 36-24 and Indy faced a 3rd & 10 when QB Lewis ran a draw play for a 56 yd TD run with 2:57 left. Indy's last drive ended on a fumble...

Ohio St jumped out to a 24-0 lead over Michigan St in the 3Q and appeared on their way to a rout but in a span of 4 plays MSU got 2 TO's. They got a 54 yd IR TD and then ret'd a fumble 25 yds for a TD. Nothing was wrong with the OSU D as they did not allow an offensive TD and OSU had a 422-185 yd edge.

CONFERENCE LIFE IS GOOD FOR TEMPLE

In their first year in the MAC, Temple has opened up 2-2 in the East and are in contention for the MAC East Title. Despite the fact they lost starting QB Adam DiMichele (shin bone frac) in the 2Q. Vaughn Charlton hit 9 of 13 for 109 yds and TU led 24-7 before allowing 10 points in the final 1:19.

WEATHER CAN BE A FACTOR

The Colorado St/UNLV game had wind gusts of up to 50 mph and the field was littered with debris. Many fans did not stick around for the end. In the 2Q a CSU KO ended up going only 13 yds and CSU rec'd as the wind blew the ball around. LV had four 1H TO's and trailed 24-3. At the end of the game, CSU got a 99 yd IR TD with just 2:50 left and after rec'ing an onside kick added a 22 yd TD run with :12 left and LV actually finished with a 559-497 yd edge...

On paper it looks like E Washington's defense did a fine job vs BYU limiting them to 377 yds but heavy snow blanketed the field which did slow down the offense. It didn't slow down BYU's scoring as they won 42-7 over this IAA foe.

4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS IMPACT THE GAME

A few weeks back Les Miles impressed a lot of folks by going for it 5 times vs Florida on 4th down and converted on each and every one, which was key to their victory. Sometimes going for it on 4th down turns close games into blowouts. Mike Leach has lost some games big due to failed 4th down conversions and in their game against Missouri that was that case. TT was only SOD once in the 1H but also had a 37 yd IR TD go vs them and they trailed 17-10 at the half despite having a 247-195 yd edge. TT was SOD at the MO 39 and 23 on their first 2 drives of the 3Q and MO turned both into TD's blowing open a tight game en route to a 41-10 win...

San Jose St outgained Fresno St 201-165 in the 1H but was trailing 6-0 after missing 2 FG's. The Spartans have hit just 2-12 FG's this year. SJSt Coach Tomey abandoned the kicking game after that and they went for it on 4th down 4 straight times in FSU terr and were stopped on all 4. Despite SJSt having a 394-383 yd edge, they were shutout 30-0.

POINTSPREAD AND KEY PLAYS OF THE GAME

Maryland led Virginia 14-3 at the half and the entire 2H until UVA got a TD with :16 left to pull out the win...

Kentucky had a 512-427 yd edge vs Florida but did trail most of the game including 28-10 early 3Q. They were +7 and pulled to a pointspread push with a TD with 3:35 left. UF got the frontdoor cover with a 2nd & 8 forty yd TD pass with 1:33 left when it looked like they were running the clock. UK almost got the backdoor push as they got a TD on the final play of the game to pull within 8 but they did not attempt the xp!...

A key play overall in the Wyoming/Air Force game happened when WY was leading 9-7 and driving deep in AF territory, RB Seldon fmbl'd and AF Giannini scooped up the fumble and with no WY players chasing him, ran 85 yds for a TD. The play went to review and was upheld and instead of trailing potentially by over a TD, AF had snagged the lead 14-9 in the 4Q and went on to a 20-12 win...

Toledo RB Jalen Parmele rushed for 241 yds as UT had 473 yds but allowed Ohio 560. OU actually led 21-20 after 3Q's but the 2 teams combined for 42 points in the 4Q. The key play of the game happened when Toledo punted with :26 left and OU fmbl'd at their own 21. UT got a 40 yd FG 2 plays later. It was justice for Toledo who had blown a 40-29 lead mid 4Q...

Oregon's offense has taken some big hits losing RB Jeremiah Johnson who split time with Jonathan Stewart and has now lost 3 of their top 4 receivers heading into the season. The Ducks still finished with a school record 465 yards rushing as Stewart had 251 on 32 carries. UO came out in all white jerseys (surprise every week) and Andre Crenshaw had 113 yds replacing Johnson. The Ducks piled up a 39-17 FD edge vs Washington in their 55-34 win and as usual, dominated the 4Q as it was tied at 31 heading into the final stanza...

Oklahoma St had leads of 24-21, 31-28 and then took a 38-31 lead with 4:09 left vs Kansas St. The Wildcats drove for an apparent tie with 1:10 left but the pointspread play of the game happened when Prince opted to go for a 2 pt conversion which was good and K-St led 39-38. OSU had a 26 yd FG with :02 left for the win but did not cover by a 1/2 point.

INJURIES OF NOTE

Navy and Wake Forest were tied at 17 late 1H when Navy lost QB Kaheaku-Enhada to a neck inj. Backup QB Bryant fmbl'd on the first play and WF returned it for a TD and Bryant fmbl'd on consecutive drives in the 3Q as WF blew open a close game to lead 44-24...

Both Cal and UCLA's QB's were ? coming in but Nate Longshore started and hit 22-34 for 232 yds and Patrick Cowan started for UCLA and hit 18-27 for 161. The biggest pass of the day belonged to Bruins WR Brandon Breazell who had a 29 yd TD pass. With UCLA clinging to a 23-21 lead, the Bruins got a 76 yd IR TD with 1:33 left to clinch the win. UCLA LB Christian Taylor was taken to the hospital for tests for a possible concussion...

Georgia Tech star RB Tashard Choice was injured in the 2Q vs Army and his status is unknown but it did not look good when he left the field in the 2Q and did not return. At the time GT only led 10-3 but dominated the 2H and pulled away to a 34-10 win...

New Mexico St star WR Chris Williams was inj'd in the 2Q and did not return as he has a stress fracture in his right collarbone. Williams is avg'ing over 100 ypg and is one of the top WR's in the NCAA...

Michigan RB Mike Hart was avg'ing 152 ypg, missed Illinois with injury but UM still rallied from a 14-3 deficit and had 23-15 FD and 343-253 yd edges in their 27-17 road win...

Boise St's star RB Ian Johnson was inj'd Sunday night and did not even travel to Ruston but BSU piled up 465 yds even without him last week. QB Tharp hit 21-35 for 328 yds and Jeremy Avery had 110 yds rushing in his place...

ULM started Trey Revell at QB and he hit just 1 of 3 passes for 13 yds. Kinsmon Lancaster who was inj'd and not 100%, came off the bench in the 4th series and would hit 15-20 passes for 237 yds and guided ULM's 14 point win over Florida Int'l.

MISLEADING FINALS, FRONTDOOR AND BACKDOOR COVERS

EM was starting true Fr Kyle McMahon and he had a good game throwing for 282 yards and rushing for 40 in his first ever start. He had some success early then started taking some chances and did have 3 int's and a fumble. In the 3Q EM missed a 47 yd FG, was int'd at the 29 and int'd at the 6. It was 19-14 and NW broke a short pass on 3rd & 6 71 yds for a TD. EM's Coach Genyk summed it up saying "We needed to make that play. We had a 3rd down in a one possession game and Bacher hits that throw. Even then we've got two of our best tacklers in a position to make the tackle at midfield and Thompson bounces off him like he's superman." That gave NW the cover with 2:44 left. EM did drive 53/11pl and had a 1st & goal at the 7 but their 4th down play was stopped at the 4 with :58 left. NW did have a 516-381 yd edge.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 9

BYU-SDSU football game postponed until Dec. 1 due to fires
October 23, 2007

SAN DIEGO (AP) -The BYU-San Diego State football game scheduled for Saturday night has been postponed until Dec. 1 because Qualcomm Stadium is being used as an evacuation center for residents displaced by wildfires.

``There is a far greater priority than sporting events in the San Diego area at this time,'' Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson said in a statement. ``The focus should be on emergency response and resources, and getting the community back on its feet. Our thoughts are with our colleagues at San Diego State University, as well as everyone who has been affected by this disaster.''

Other factors that led to the decision were air quality, fan safety and transportation considerations.

The NFL's Chargers are scheduled to play the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium. The NFL and the team are discussing what to do about that game.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 9

Kent State QB Done For Year

KENT: A record-tying day by Eugene Jarvis wasn't enough to help Kent State shake its losing ways.

Going with a new quarterback might not be, either.

The Golden Flashes (3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Mid-American Conference) dropped their third consecutive game Saturday this time 31-20 to visiting Bowling Green (4-3, 2-1) at Dix Stadium and lost their starting quarterback along the way.

With 168 yards on 33 carries, Jarvis tied the record set by Don Fitzgerald (1966) and Eric Wilkerson (1987) for Kent State running backs to reach 1,000 yards in the fewest number of games (eight) in a season.

Jarvis clinched the record on the first play of the second quarter with a 6-yard rush, helping him record his fourth 100-yard half of the season.

But Jarvis' big day was first overshadowed by a lesser-known running back and then even more so by the news that KSU starting quarterback Julian Edelman will miss the remainder of the season with a broken arm.

First, Bowling Green surprised by switching from being a pass-happy offense to an effective ground team with little-known Willie Geter making like Jarvis by rushing for a game-high 203 yards.

''They're both quick, little, elusive guys,'' Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon said of Jarvis and Geter. ''Willie's going to be a great player before he's through. He's a tough kid. Sometimes I look at him and go, 'Are you sure you're just a freshman?'''

Entering the game with just 88 yards on the season, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound freshman ripped the Flashes for 22 carries and a 4-yard touchdown that put Bowling Green on the board in the first quarter.

''They really did a nice job of changing their offense drastically from what they'd done this whole season and kind of caught us off-guard,'' Kent State coach Doug Martin said.

But as much as the Falcons' newfound ground attack and Geter's career day hurt the Flashes, the news immediately after the game of Edelman's injury put a dark cloud over an already frustrated team.

Playing hampered by a torn ligament in his left knee suffered during the Kentucky game on Sept. 8, Edelman broke the radius bone in his right arm on a play with less than three minutes left.

The game started with Flashes' backup quarterback Anthony Magazu on crutches with an ankle injury, leaving Martin and his staff to decide by this afternoon whether they will remove the redshirt from freshman recruit Giorgio Morgan.

Despite moving the ball up and down the field in the first half, the Flashes were limited to a pair of field goals until Edelman sneaked into the end zone on a 3-yard quarterback keeper with 1:16 left in the first half.

Yet even with their continued red-zone struggles, the Flashes trailed just 14-13 at the half.

But as has been the pattern, Kent State's defense allowed Bowling Green to score on its opening possession of the second half. In pushing their lead to 21-13, the Falcons became the fifth of eight Kent State opponents this year to score on their opening possession of the third quarter.

''Coach tries to emphasize that we have to get a stop coming right out of halftime and not let them move the ball,'' safety Jack Williams said. ''But for some reason we have trouble doing that.''

Yet it was of little concern compared with the red-zone penalties two holding calls, two false starts and an illegal motion that short-circuited three of five potential KSU scoring drives.

''The penalties in the red zone are killing us,'' Martin said. ''They're really destroying our scoring offense. We're an offense that should be scoring 30 points a game. But we can't get it done because the penalties continue to hamper us down there.''

The coach isn't the only one up in arms over the inopportune mistakes.

''We showed we can move the ball on any defense all season,'' Jarvis said. ''But it's the little things we've got to get back and correct. . . . It's people jumping off sides and little stupid stuff that we shouldn't be doing.''

Before the injury, Edelman hit wide receiver Rashad Tukes on a 32-yard touchdown strike with just six minutes to play to pull within eight points. But the Falcons put the game away with a 49-yard field goal booted by Sinisa Vrvilo.


www.thebeaconjournal.com.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 9

Canes hopeful Wright will be OK for next game
October 23, 2007

Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Miami quarterback Kyle Wright missed practice Tuesday because of injuries that knocked him out of the Hurricanes' win over Florida State last weekend.

Wright said he injured his left ankle and left knee in the second quarter of Miami's 37-29 victory.

"He'll be back next week," Miami coach Randy Shannon said after practice. "Give him a week or so. Right now it's an ankle sprain. We need to isolate it and get it ready. Hopefully, he'll be ready by Sunday."

Wright was not available for comment Tuesday.

Kirby Freeman replaced Wright in Saturday's game and threw the go-ahead touchdown to Dedrick Epps with 1:15 left. Wright was able to return to try a 2-point conversion pass after that score.

The Hurricanes (5-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) will practice Wednesday, have an open date this weekend and begin preparing for a Nov. 3 game with North Carolina State on Sunday.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 9

Stanford loses another player to injury
October 24, 2007

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Stanford running back Jason Evans will miss the rest of the season with an injured left knee, becoming the latest Cardinal running back sidelined this year.

Evans tore his ACL in last Saturday's 21-20 victory at Arizona, when he rushed for a career-high 78 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. He is expected to have surgery next week.

Evans was playing in place of injured starter Anthony Kimble, who is not expected to be available for Stanford (3-4, 2-3 Pac-10) on Saturday at Oregon State because of a shoulder injury. Freshman Jeremy Stewart also has an injured shoulder and is questionable for this week's game.

The Cardinal are hoping that Toby Gerhart can return this week after missing the past five games with a knee injury. Redshirt freshman Tyrone McGraw is expected to start against the Beavers after running for 50 yards on 16 carries against the Wildcats last week.

Evans, a fifth-year senior, had 30 carries for 105 yards to go along with five catches for 51 yards this season.

``I'm still look forward to a lot of good times for this team this season,'' Evans said. ``Somebody will step in and do well. That's what everybody has done so far. I still think we can reach our goal to make a bowl game.''

Coach Jim Harbaugh also announced on Tuesday that offensive lineman Allen Smith will not return this season from his left knee injury. Smith had surgery after being injured on Sept. 22 against Oregon and was hoping to return later this season.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 9

Big Ten Report
By ASA 

Penn State aims to end Ohio State’s undefeated season and stay atop the polls. Michigan looks for its seventh straight win with a struggling Minnesota team coming to Ann Arbor. Northwestern attempts to win its fourth straight games for the first time since 1996 against Purdue. And Wisconsin tries to contain Kellen Lewis and the explosive Indiana offense.

Here’s a look forward to the week that will be in the Big Ten.

Illinois

The book is officially out on the Illini as they have now dropped two straight following their 27-17 home loss to Michigan. Illinois climbed into the top 25 following its win over Wisconsin three weeks ago but has lost the two games following. The Illini will look to get back on the winning track when they host Ball State in a non-conference battle as 13.5-point favorites.

Illinois has relied heavily on Rashard Mendenhall and its running game this year. This reliance has been due in large part to the inability of quarterbacks Juice Williams and Eddie McGee to get anything going in the passing game. The Illini may be 10th in the nation in rushing offense but they are also 114th in passing offense. One-dimensional offenses are easy to stop and that has been the case the last two weeks with Illinois averaging just 11.5 points and 270 yards per game.

Lucky for the Illini their opponent this week, Ball State, is awful against the run, allowing 214.9 yards per game on the ground. On the other hand, though, Ball State owns one of the nation’s best passing offenses and could take advantage of Illinois’s 87th-ranked pass defense. The Illini are 0-3 ATS in their last three games against Mid-American Conference competition, including a 20-17 SU home loss to Ohio last year. It’s been a rare occurrence for Illinois to be double-digit home favorites recently as it has happened just 10 times since the 200 season. The Illini have gone just 4-6 ATS in those contests.

Indiana

The Hoosiers gave Penn State everything they had last week, matching the Nittany Lions yard for yard. Four fumbles were their undoing, though, in a 36-31 home loss. Indiana has now lost two straight and now must play Wisconsin on the road as 7.5-point dogs.

Indiana was slaughtered 52-17 at home by the Badgers last year and will look to exact some revenge in this year’s meeting. The Hoosier offense failed to get anything going in that game, getting nearly doubled up in total yardage. Kellen Lewis struggled mightily in that game but Lewis is a different player this year. He’s a dual threat with his arm and his legs and could cause problems for a struggling Wisconsin stop unit.

The Hoosiers have lost two straight to the Badgers and are 2-8 SU in the last 10 meetings overall. They’ve been double-digit dogs in nine of those meetings making this game just the second time in 11 meetings that they’ve been single-digit dogs. Indiana has gone 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings, covering by an average of 20.5 points per game.

Iowa

The Hawkeyes snapped their Big Ten losing streak two weeks ago with a win over Illinois but started up a new losing streak with an ugly 31-6 road loss at Purdue Saturday. Iowa will return home with hopes of stopping this streak at one this weekend when it hosts Michigan State as 3-point dogs.

The Iowa stop unit has been strong all season but the offense has reached new lows. The Hawkeyes have fallen to 109th in the country in total offense and 117th in scoring offense, out of 119 teams, and have been held to 16 or fewer points in six of eight games. One of their biggest problems has been protecting the quarterback as they’ve allowed four sacks per game this year, 116th in the nation. That doesn’t bode well when going up against a ferocious Michigan State pass rush, which is fourth in the country with 31 sacks this year.

This game marks the first meeting between the programs since the 2004 season when Iowa won 38-16. The Hawkeyes have owned the Spartans over the years, going 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings. Within those games, Iowa is 5-1 ATS at home. Additionally, dating back to 1980, the Hawkeyes are 9-1 ATS as the underdog within the series and 7-1 ATS when coming off a loss.

Michigan

The turnaround in Ann Arbor continued as the Wolverines picked up their sixth straight win with a 27-17 road victory over Illinois. Michigan has now climbed back up to 19th in the AP Poll and will look to continue its ascent when it hosts Minnesota as 23-point favorites.

The Wolverines picked up their win over the Illini despite Heisman candidate Mike Hart being sidelined with an injury and quarterback Chad Henne nursing a hand injury. Henne shook off his injury while running back Carlos Brown stepped in admirably for Hart. Henne should be able to go this week but Hart may not be needed against a Minnesota team that is winless in conference action.

Michigan has absolutely dominated the Gophers over the years, going 23-2 SU and 16-9 ATS since 1980. Within the series, the Wolverines are 8-2-1 ATS when Minnesota is coming off a SU ATS loss and 8-3 ATS when the Gophers are under .500. They have been favorites of 20 or more points in amazing 12 times in those 25 games, going 11-1 SU and 7-5 ATS and winning by an average of 31.3 points per game.

Michigan State

The Spartans hung with the top-ranked Buckeyes last week, easily covering the 17-point spread in a 24-17 loss at the Horseshoe. In the end, though, they just weren’t able to compete with a superior Ohio State team. Michigan State will remain on the road this week but will have a much easier game against Iowa as 3-point road favorites.

Michigan State last played Iowa in 2004, falling 38-16 on the road. That game was much closer than the final score indicates so the Spartans will be looking to exact a measure of revenge in this year’s meeting. Jonal Saint-Dic, who is fifth in the nation with ninth sacks, leads an aggressive Spartan defense that is third in the country in tackles for loss and fourth in sacks per game. The Hawkeyes have had trouble keeping opponents out of the backfield all season so the Michigan State defense should have a field day.

The Spartans have traditionally struggled against Iowa but the Hawkeyes aren’t the same team they’ve been in the past. Iowa is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 conference games while Michigan State is 4-1 ATS in its last five conference outings. The Spartans have been favorites at Iowa just three times since 1980, going 0-3 ATS in those contests and losing two of those games outright. They have played well on the road lately, though, going 4-0 ATS in their last four road games overall.

Minnesota

Minnesota’s season continued its downward spiral when it lost its sixth straight game. This one came at home against Division IAA North Dakota State by a final tally of 27-21. Chances are that losing streak won’t be snapped this week when the Gophers travel to play Michigan as 23-point underdogs.

Basic logic suggested the struggling Minnesota defense would get healthy against the Bisons but it actually got worse. The Gophers allowed 585 total yards, including 394 on the ground. They are at or near the bottom of nearly every defensive statistical category and won’t get much of a respite against the surging Wolverines. Out of 119 Division I teams, the Gophers are now last in the country in both passing and total defense, 118th in turnover margin, 116th in sacks, 109th in scoring defense and 94th in rushing defense.

Despite Minnesota’s losing streak it is actually 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven conference games and 4-1-1 ATS in its last six games as the underdog. The Gophers have been dogs of 20 or more points 12 times since 1995, going 0-12 SU but a respectable 6-6 ATS. Minnesota’s complete ineptitude on the defensive side of the ball could very well turn this game into a blowout, though.

Northwestern

The Wildcats picked up their third straight win with a non-conference 26-14 victory over Eastern Michigan last week. They’ll look to extend their winning streak to four games for the first time since the 1996 season when they go on the road to Purdue as 12.5-point underdogs.

Northwestern lost 31-10 at home to the Boilermakers in last year’s meeting. The Wildcats were doubled up in total yardage in that game but this year should be a different story. Quarterback C.J. Bacher has quickly become one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten while leading Northwestern’s sixth-ranked passing offense. Bacher has thrown for an average of 450.3 yards per game during the winning streak with 10 touchdowns to just one interception.

The Wildcats have historically struggled against Purdue, going just 6-19 SU and 10-15 ATS since 1980. They have won two of the last three meetings both SU and ATS, though. Additionally, within this series the road team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings.

Ohio State

Ohio State received a slight late scare from Michigan State last week but held onto the lead and the top spot in the polls with a 24-17 win over the Spartans. The Buckeyes’ first eight games featured little competition but this week’s game at Penn State should give them their first real test of the season. They are 3.5-point road favorites.

The Buckeyes down the Nittany Lions 28-6 last year but the game was much closer than the final tally suggests. Ohio State tacked on two late interception returns for touchdowns, making a one-score game into a three-score game. The Buckeyes have relied mostly on their rushing attack to move the ball this season but the Penn State defense should prove to be a tough unit to move as it is ninth in the nation in rush defense.

Ohio State has been favored five times in seven meetings at Penn State, including the last three road meetings overall. The Buckeyes lost all three of those meetings ATS and two of three SU. Overall, though, they are 8-3 ATS when favored over the Lions. Additionally, Ohio State is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 road games, 19-7 ATS in its last 26 conference games and 20-7 ATS in its last 27 games overall.

Penn State

The Nittany Lions picked up their first road win of the season last week with a narrow 36-31 at Indiana. Looking ahead to this week’s game with Ohio State could have led to a letdown but Penn State avoided it. The Lions will look for their fourth straight win and an upset of top-ranked Ohio State when they host the Buckeyes as 3.5-point dogs.

Two of the nation’s top defenses will square off in this game. Penn State is fourth in the nation in scoring defense at 15 points allowed per game while Ohio State is first with just 7.9 points a game. That’s nothing new for these two teams as low-scoring games have littered this series over the years. None of the last five meetings have exceeded 41 points and only two of the last nine meetings have surpassed that mark.

Consistently strong defenses have led to both teams favoring the under recently. Four of the last five games in the series have stayed under the total. Also, the under has combined to go 11-2 in the last 13 October games between the programs and 27-11-1 in the last 39 combined conference games.

Purdue

Purdue stopped its losing streak at two with a convincing 31-6 home win over Iowa last week, matching the team’s fewest points allowed this season. The game marked just the third time since the 2004 season that the Boilermakers allowed single-digit points. They’ll look to build on that effort this weekend when they host Northwestern at 12.5-point favorites.

Quarterback Curtis Painter and the passing offense had their way with Northwestern in last year’s 31-10 road win, throwing for 448 yards. The passing offense has struggled in Purdue’s two losses this year but rebounded last week with 315 yards and three scores through the air. The Wildcats are 87th in the nation in stopping the pass this year so Painter should be able to have another solid outing.

The Boilermakers are 19-6 SU against Northwestern since 1980 and 8-2 SU in the last 10 meetings overall. They’re just 5-7 ATS at home versus the Wildcats since 1982, though, including a 34-29 SU loss in the last meeting in West Lafayette. Additionally, Purdue has struggled recently as double-digit home favorites, going just 2-5 ATS in the last seven occurrences.

Wisconsin

Northern Illinois couldn’t have at a better time for the struggling Badgers. Wisconsin snapped out of its two-game funk with a 44-3 thrashing of the Huskies as part of Homecoming weekend. The Badgers remain home this weekend with Indiana coming to town as 7.5-point favorites.

Wisconsin thoroughly dominated the Hoosiers, winning 52-17 on the road behind dominating performances on both sides of the ball. The Badgers defense will be tested much more in this year’s meeting and it’s debatable whether the unit will be up to the task. Wisconsin allowed 34.3 points a game in its three games prior to Northern Illinois and now must face Indiana’s 25th-ranked scoring offense.

This meeting marks the first time since the 1991 season that the Badgers have been single-digit home favorites against the Hoosiers. Wisconsin is just 6-4 SU and 5-5 ATS in 10 home meetings with Indiana since 1982, including just 1-2 ATS in the three games in which it was favored by single digits. The Badgers are a historically strong home team, though, going 14-6 ATS in their last 20 home contests.

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